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Comments on Hospital Executives and Lobbyists’ Call for Special Legislative Session

“We’ve long been concerned about the decisions made by some leaders of the corporations that own and operate our community hospitals in response to a changing healthcare landscape. These chief executive officers and lobbyists didn’t suddenly begin making poor choices with patient care dollars on Friday.
 
“The head of the industry’s lobbying arm today dismissed questions over excessive pay and bonuses among administrators of the networks running most of Connecticut’s hospitals as ‘not significant.’ Hundreds of patients, advocates, caregivers and residents turned-out last night in Willimantic to demonstrate how significant it is really is. Speaker after speaker at a legislative forum on proposed cuts at Windham Hospital echoed the call for Hartford HealthCare’s leadership to reduce executive compensation before slashing vital patient services.
 
“And some in the industry aren’t just ignoring the voices of patients and caregivers — they’re attempting to silence them, too.
 
“Among the network chiefs who today attempted to distract attention from their poor choices was the the CEO of the Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN). His administrators at Danbury and New Milford Hospitals this year have wasted up to $3 million in patient care dollars on a campaign of discrimination against their own employees. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) just last week recommended that the results of a June union election be set aside due to the illegal activity of his managers and consultants. According to the press, this same CEO was handed a total compensation package of over $1.2 million in salary, bonuses and incentives for the most recent year reports are available. 
 
“Both of these examples point to what’s needed in response to the rhetorical question raised today by the industry’s top lobbyist — ‘how do we improve patient care?’ A good start would be for these network executives to lead by example, demonstrate shared sacrifice, and put patients before profits.”
 
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AFT Connecticut, the largest union of acute care health professionals in the state, represents approximately 10,000 nurses, technicians, and healthcare workers at 10 hospitals across the state. For more information, visit www.aftct.org or follow the labor federation on Twitter at @AFTCT and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aftct.
 
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